UMass Lowell 85, Hartford 83: Size Not Stopping River Hawks

(photo courtesy: UMass Lowell Athletics)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – If you walked into Chase Family Arena with five minutes left in Wednesday’s game between UMass Lowell and Hartford, you’d be excused for thinking you’d stumbled upon a high school game.

With George Blagojevic and Jack Hobbs already fouled out, Hartford coach John Gallagher called upon sophomore walk-on Mark Plousis. At 6’5”, Plousis probably played plenty of post at Cardinal O’Hara in Philadelphia (the same high school Gallagher attended), but when he was the tallest player on the floor in a Division I basketball player for either team in crunch time, it was more than a little strange.

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Central Conn. 83, UMass Lowell 79: Dickenman And Crew No Longer Winless

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – We have long since established that the non-conference season means next to nothing for NEC teams, this season even more so than usual with parity abound. However, that zero next to Central Connecticut in the win column was still an eyesore at this point of the season.

Add the fact that of the 351 Division I basketball teams in this great country, only five had yet to win a game, and it grew harder to look at with each passing day.

With UConn and Yale next on the schedule, 69-years-young Howie Dickenman was well aware that a home loss Friday night to UMass Lowell likely meant that his Blue Devils would enter conference play 0-11, and so – now feeling much better after a health scare earlier in the season – he was out leading the warmup himself 45 minutes prior to tip, urging his players to up the tempo.

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Three Thoughts: Hartford 68, UMass Lowell 62 (OT)

There are few positive things that come from being ineligible for the NCAA Tournament for a Division I basketball coach, but one of them might be a little ease on the pressure that most of their other brethren in the coaching fraternity feel.

This is doubly so for UMass Lowell coach Pat Duquette, whose team (due to the transition period from Division II to Division I) won’t be a contender for the America East championship until 2018. Add that to the fact that Duquette was forced to replace almost everyone from last season’s surprising team that went 8-8 in its inaugural season in America East and was picked dead last again this season.

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America East Stock Watch: Nov. 18

The America East picked up a grand total of three wins over the season’s first four days. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been positive signs from some of the league’s best teams. Providence currently leads the conference standings with victories over Albany and Binghamton, if only they played in the league full time. Meanwhile, Vermont is 1-1 in the MAAC. Here is the first edition of the America East Stock Watch on who is up, down and what numbers to worry about heading into this week.

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